Director of Lifelong Learning
Building Steward/Admin Assistant
Upon receiving his M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School (Chicago) in 1996, Paul was ordained by the Unitarian Church of Bloomington (IL). He then served SouthWest Unitarian Universalist Church (suburban Cleveland, OH) from 1996-2001, and the Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau (WI) from 2001-2014.
Raised in northern Minnesota, Paul received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) in 1986. From ’86-’93 he served as a manager for properties owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and later for Ryan Construction, both in Minneapolis. He is the father of three children ages 20-29; his wife Jane is a school counselor for the Mount Baker School District. Paul and Jane love Bellingham for its outstanding opportunities for hiking, biking, and watersports.
Rev. Tessie is a minister in preliminary fellowship with Unitarian Universalist Association. While she is new(er) to the UUA, she is not new to ministry. She is an ordained minister with Metropolitan Community Churches (2002), a Christian denomination that ministers primarily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, and she has served churches in California, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee as their pastor.
In her own spiritual journey, Tessie felt called to enlarge the territory of her heart and to broaden the scope of her ministry. That is how she came to Unitarian Universalism. Her MCC identity is still an important part of who she is and she feels empowered to partner with both MCC and the UUA; therefore, is dually affiliated.
Tessie is also a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and she currently serves PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center as a staff chaplain.
Tessie is originally from Charleston, SC. She and her partner, Lisa Heezen, moved to Bellingham in the summer of 2014 to be closer to Lisa’s parents who retired here many years ago and they are both very happy to be here.
When Tessie is not working she enjoys running, biking, hiking, singing in the BUF choir, and spending time with her beloved family.
Rev. Tessie is BUF'S Community Minister...What Does That Mean?
Community ministers are persons qualified to perform ministries of counseling, chaplaincy, social justice, education in religious studies, or other such ministries as the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee may recognize. Community ministers engage in prophetic ministerial service beyond the walls of the congregation. Tessie's community ministry is at PeaceHealth St. Joseph's Medical Center.